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Charleston Chapter – MOAA

Charleston Chapter – MOAA
Charleston Chapter – MOAA Charleston Chapter – MOAA
March 22 Luncheon Meeting

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Charleston Chapter – MOAA

Baptist Hill Army JROTC

Click here for the Unit’s website

Mission Statement:

The Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) is a program offered Baptist Hill High School that teaches students (Cadets) character education, student achievement, wellness, leadership, and diversity. Collectively, these lessons motivate students (Cadets) to be better citizens. In addition to promoting citizenship, JROTC also prepares students (Cadets) for college.

Baptist Hill MOAA Awards Presentation

By COL Al Smith

Thanks for GPS systems; I would never find Hollywood SC without the assistance.

I arrived at 17:50 for an 18:00 ceremony. The parking lot had two cars. Drove to the front of the High School and found 4 cars and a JrROTC cadet, in uniform walking in the front door. I followed.  Inside the building I found another cadet and asked for the location of the awards presentations and was directed to the school cafeteria. Inside there were 200 chairs occupied by less than 20 people. Two other outside presenters were present. No sign of POC SGM John Kuntz.

About 20 minutes later an announcement was made for those being presented to move to two front rows of seats with 20 chairs. The room started to fill up. About 18:30 all chairs were occupied, and there was standing room only. Personal observation: the audience was one of the best dressed and well mannered I have ever seen at a school presentation. 

The chairs reserved for awardees were full, with only four students in uniform.

5 JrROTC cadets in uniform conducted presentation of Colors. 

The presentation of awards clarified my initial concerns. This was a Middle/ High School awards ceremony, not only JrROTC.

Scholarship awards were presented first. I was impressed by the number and amounts of scholarships announced. Approximately 20 awards were given that ranged from two -$22.5k, two $20.k scholarships a number of $3k, $2k, and $1k scholarships. The majority were designated as scholarships with no monetary values mentioned. A local business was thanked for it's annual contribution of $54k toward student scholarships. Four outside presenters came forward with awards for the JrROTC cadets.

Cadet Keasia White was given the MOAA leadership award, and Cadet Jaqueenia Loyd received the MOAA Best Cadet award. Both cadets also received several scholarship awards.


A Drill and Ceremony presentation was conducted by 9 members of the JrROTC Battalion. While not a traditional D&R, it was militarily precise, rhythmic, enthusiastic and well received.


The presentations continued with school Honor Roll recognition and presentation of the school Salutatorian, and Valedictorian winners.


The ceremony concluded with Principal Kala Goodwine announcing the Charleston County School District Board Schools Scholar of the Year. A scholarship accompanied the award.  Local religious and political leaders were thanked for their attendance.  


 I later talked with the principal and discovered that the school population was a little over 300 students with fewer than 40 JrROTC cadets. An additional 25 8th grade students are members of a leadership program that will advance to JrROTC status in the 9th grade.


Conclusion: a unique experience in a small, close-knit community. I would recommend the Baptist Hall Awards Ceremony experience to any one who is not aware of the rural life outside of metro Charleston.

Charleston Chapter – MOAA
Charleston Chapter – MOAA
Charleston Chapter – MOAA

Charleston Chapter – MOAA

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